I understand your frustration and have felt that way, too. So what I've discovered may help you, just like it did me. First of all, most artists (unless they're really good at digital work specifically) don't just put down a pretty line with lots of variation in line weight(thickness) in one pass. They actually do exactly what you mentioned: sometimes making several passes to build up parts of the line or taking away part of the line with the eraser. I didn't know that until recently. I know that with traditional inking several passes are usually made.
Also, make sure the drivers are installed, even though tablets are "plug and play." I initially thought that's all you needed to do, and my strokes were not nearly as controllable until I actually installed the drivers .
But it is absolutely worth putting the time in to get comfortable with doing lineart with the tablet. You can do pretty much anything imaginable once you get it down. Good luck!
Thank you for the comment. This has made me think: as an experiment, I'm going to install the Windows drivers for my tablet, install GIMP on my Windows instance, and see if I notice any difference in how it behaves when working in Windows. I've done everything in Linux up until now. I'll report back here on how it goes.
Here is how I do my line art. This is an example. [link] A good thing to note is that sketching in photoshop isn't exactly easy. I find sketching in real life much easier than it is in photoshop.
Step one: get a pretty solid sketch, change its color to something other than black. Step two: Lower the opacity of the sketch. Step Three: Turn off opacity and flow jitter. Step Four: Make a new layer draw a line. Step Five: Make a new layer draw a line. Erase the extra. Step Six: Merge down a layer.
Repeat step four through six until you have a finished the line art. Some people even turn off shape dynamics as well. I prefer not too but it's up to you. The reason you do this is you can manipulate one line at a time so it all fits together perfectly. I've used the actions menu to make it so F2 makes a new layer and F4 merges a layer down. This way I can do this with great speed.
Wow, doing separate layers as you do the lines seems tedious, but if you configure shortcuts for that, I guess it goes pretty quickly. Your digital work seems to be more about shapes than lines...more painter-like than illustrator-like, if that makes sense. For whatever reason, I like to have pretty prominent lines. Not that it's good or bad...just my style.
Yeah that does make sense. I guess a part I forgot to mention is keep drawing the line til it's perfect. By that I mean draw the line on its own layer and if it isn't perfect press ctrl+z then try again. This way you can build up your linework one perfect line at a time. It may sound very tedious and it kinda is but imo its the easiest way. This video shows the basics of the actions window in photoshop. [link]
Yeah I've personally watched every video on that site, even the paid ones. In my opinion his website and videos are second to none. Everything he teaches is short and to the point. For me his videos made me prefer digital over traditional after some learning.
fersteger2Featured By OwnerJan 6, 2013Professional Digital Artist
Try a trial version of Sketchbook Pro. I can't draw good lines at all in photoshop, but sketchbook pro has plenty of options for line smoothing and stabilizing. It's much closer to drawing on paper than most other digital programs.
I've got to try Manga Studio myself, wanted to check that out.